The BoE Governor Mark Carney spoke at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Spring Membership Meeting in Tokyo. He highlighted that capital flow volatility is rising because of the fundamental asymmetry in the international monetary financial system and the rapid rise of market-based finance. The IIF, with its diverse and global membership, can make a major contribution in addressing these issues. He also outlined the ongoing regulatory work to address systemic risks for non-banks.
Mr. Carney noted that over half of investment funds have a structural mismatch between the frequency with which they offer redemptions and the time it would take them to liquidate their assets. Under stress they may need to fire-sell assets, magnifying market adjustments and triggering further redemptions. Two-third of investment funds with structural mismatches are domiciled in the U.S. and Europe; therefore, as is the case for banks, ensuring that leverage and liquidity risks are managed in funds investing abroad is both a national asset and a global public good. System-wide stress simulations are currently being developed, including at the BoE, to assess these risks. Authorities are beginning to consider macro-prudential policy tools to guard against the build-up of systemic risks in non-banks.
Furthermore, regulators have far less sight of risks within funds compared to the core banking system, particularly synthetic leverage arising from funds’ use of derivatives. The upcoming FSB-IOSCO evaluation of implementation and effectiveness of recommendations to address liquidity mismatch in funds will be crucial to improve the understanding of best practices, including the merits of adjustments to redemption periods to be more consistent with investments. Mr. Carney noted that better surveillance, a more resilient core of the financial system, and a macro-prudential approach to market-based finance will all help increase sustainable capital flows, but they will be most effective if they are underpinned by an adequate global financial safety net.
Pooling resources at the IMF is much more efficient than individual countries self-insuring against Capital Flows-at-Risk, distributing the costs across all 189-member countries. The design of the global financial safety net is also important. Positive steps have been taken in recent years by introducing precautionary liquidity facilities to allow countries to borrow to prevent crises and mitigate their impact. This should also reduce stigma of drawing on the facilities. However, so far, only a few countries have taken them up. The BoE Governor concluded that "we are all responsible for addressing the fault lines in the global financial system and its safety net." Doing so will reduce the volatility of capital flows, increase the sustainability of cross-border investment, and meet the great challenges of this age.
Keywords: Europe, UK, Banking, Securities, Systemic Risk, Stress Testing, Capital Flow Volatility, Market Based Finance, Liquidity Risk, Macro-Prudential Approach, BoE
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